President Barack Obama is a night owl, and his hours of solitude after dark are crucial to his well-being, according to a story in The New York Times.
The Times reveals how the president spends his late-night time in the Treaty Room, his private office in the White House residence.
After he eats dinner with his wife and daughters on the evenings he’s in Washington, he retreats to this office for four or five hours to gather his thoughts, catch up on reading, and watch sports on TV.
Here are some of the best tidbits from the story:
- Obama sends late-night emails to his staff, sometimes asking them to come back into the office if he’s working on something time-sensitive, like polishing a speech he’s due to give the next day.
- Obama eats exactly seven lightly salted almonds every night for a snack. Despite his late schedule, he rarely drinks anything with caffeine.
- Obama plays Words With Friends on his iPad and watches sports on TV. Sometimes, he emails staff to taunt them if their sports team just lost.
- He also catches up on the news — he reads The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal and watches cable.
- Obama once saw a TV news report about students who had meeting the president on their “bucket list,” and he emailed an aide to ask why he hadn’t met them yet. The aide replied that “someone decided it wasn’t a good idea,” to which Obama responded, “Well, I’m the president and I think it’s a good idea.'”
- He and First Lady Michelle Obama like to watch the TV shows “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Breaking Bad.”
Obama gets about five hours of sleep a night — he often goes to bed after midnight and is awake by 7 a.m.
The Times notes how Obama’s nighttime routine differs from those of other recent presidents — George W. Bush was often in bed by 10 p.m. because he woke up early, and Bill Clinton would stay up late talking on the phone with “friends and political allies, forcing aides to scan the White House phone logs in the mornings to keep track of whom the president might have called the night before.”
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